I had a lovely Skype discussion with a friend earlier today about how World of Warcraft is kind of like a drug. Even after a long time of not playing it, it still has it’s appeal and once you decide to go back you’re immediatly hooked again and you find yourself once again devoted to the game for atleast a few months. And then the high fades and you quit again, telling yourself that this is the last time you picked up the game. Untill you cave in again and sub for a month or two.
Personally I’m very guilty of this pattern aswell. Although I said my goodbyes to the game a few weeks ago I’ve logged in again a bit (you can log in for free now, but you are limited in your actions) and I can feel the familiar pull. My raidteam fortunately has a break now so that’s not tempting me in, but I wonder how long I can resist the call.
To expand on this topic I feel like gaming in general is like a drug to me. I was perfectly happy barely playing anything in Sweden on holidays, but I notice I have immediatly immersed myself back into my games when I got home. I’ve been leveling a new character on Guild Wars 2. I’ve been playing a lot of Hearthstone. I’ve been poking around in FFXIV. All my time goes into gaming again and it’s keeping me from doing other things that I would want. The pull is just too big and right now I’m not in the mindset to resist, or so atleast I tell myself.
I think a lot of the appeal that games have to me comes from the fact that I have wanted, and still want, to escape my life at home. I’ve not had an easy childhood growing up and at the time World of Warcraft was my way to escape the hurt and feel more accepted online than I did in real life. After things were starting to look up in life I was already very deep into the game and it had become such a big routine in my life that it was very hard to set it aside. And essentially this is still the truth, although WoW isn’t the major game anymore.
And in that way gaming doesn’t really differentiate from drinking or doing drugs for me. I can say that I’m not really addicted since I have no issues going without games for an extended amount of time. If you take all my electronics away tomorrow and give me a phone with which I can only text and call I would be perfectly happy. I have other hobbies that don’t involve gaming and I have a big social circle who I visit regularly so it’s not that I have nothing else to do.
But the lure of gaming is very big. Ever since I got back from my holidays I have sniffed at games again. I have done the first line of the cocaïne called MMO’s and I’m spending a lot of time on them. Way more than I should. Way more than I would want to. And it’s getting in the way of my other goals. I’m not going outside as much as I would want to. I’m not going to the gym. I’m not doing the Hero’s Journey. I’m not doing anything but eat, sleep and game. And it’s something that really needs to be changed, but I don’t really know how.